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Lack of physical attraction is ruining our relationship


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Old 12th January 2018, 2:27 PM   #1
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Lack of physical attraction is ruining our relationship

I have married a few months ago a woman that I love but to whom I feel now not very much physical attraction. I know I probably shouldn’t have married her but I’m almost 40 (and so is she), I’ve been alone for all of my life before meeting her (she’s my first serious relationship), and I thought that having someone in my life was a good thing. And in fact it is, because since I’m with her my life has dramatically improved.

These last four years with her have been the happiest of my life. I feel so lucky and blessed to have met her. Nonetheless, unfortunately I can’t find her very physically attractive. It hurts me saying so, because she’s a beautiful person, I love her, and I think that everything else is fine and we get along quite well. There are more important things that external beauty, especially at our age. We aren’t young anymore, and looks will very soon fade away in any case.

The problem is that she is constantly worried that I don’t like her, and she keeps me asking if I find her attractive. We sometimes have arguments triggered by my apparent lack of appreciation for her looks, and I don’t want this to happen, so I try to be as much appreciative as I can, but I know I’m at least partially lying. She often complains that she doesn’t feel desired by me, and this us hurting her and our relationship as well.

I cannot be honest with her, but I think our relationship should focus on something else. We are two affine souls, at least it’s what I can say from my very little experience in terms of relationships. We shouldn’t be focusing too much on the external attraction, but she seems to care so much about that.

It’s a difficult situation and I don’t know how to work things out.

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Old 12th January 2018, 2:45 PM   #2
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Oh boy.

You know... one thing I have learned, through the ups and downs of my 16 year relationship, is how vital it is to make your partner feel DESIRED.

To me, without desire, without an underlying current of lust, then you are just good friends and roommates.

Desire is the spark to the flame. Desire makes us feel valued, special and wanted by our partner. Sure, sometimes I may not look at my husband and think he is Adonis, but I am still attracted to him, and I try my best to let him know that.

Its amazing how showing desire can boost your partner's self esteem and ignite a passionate flame.

So.... I kinda agree with her. A lack of desire can really kill a romantic relationship. It can affect her feelings of self worth. If she isn't attractive to her husband, who will she be attractive to?

Unfortunately it sounds like you "settled". Did you feign attraction to her at the beginning? How is your sex life?

And I may get flamed for this.... but I will say, a woman who is not desired by her husband will be more vulnerable to an affair. If some man starts showing her the desire that you can not... it can become an alluring drug.
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Old 12th January 2018, 2:50 PM   #3
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Bullsh-t! You DO find her attractive. You just stated she was beautiful and you love her. You are projecting societal values onto this statement. Even though inside you do understand that is is empty and vacuous.

Try this out with me. "Honey, I love you." " You are very attractive." "You are my everything" "I am so happy".


And as for your head getting screwed on straight...When you are intimate with each other. Find 1 thing everytime that you enjoy with your wife. ie: her hair..how it smells, the way it moves when she brushes it out of her face.

That type of stuff. You will see in no time you were just sadly mistaken and you will owe me a beer. !
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Old 12th January 2018, 2:51 PM   #4
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What about a wardrobe change?? Does she make an effort to be attractive for you??

The only reason I ask is... I was briefly dating this woman who always wore old baggy nasty jeans and a T-shirt, very little makeup; it didn't appear she made any effort to get ready for the date. She actually looked kind of masculine, almost. I felt like I was dating my brother.

The next person I went out with took the time to dress up, she's put on a cute dress, nice heels, did her makeup & hair. She really made an effort, even if it was just a quick lunch date.

I appreciate it when a woman takes extra effort to look nice for me.
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Old 12th January 2018, 2:59 PM   #5
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How is the sex? Do you enjoy it? Is she satisfied with the frequency/ your performance?

Imo if the attraction issue is impacting your sex life significantly, your marriage is screwed. You obviously had reasons for marrying her, but just because your lack of attraction outweighs being alone for you, doesn't mean the situation is fair to her. You will not be able to convince her not to care about this aspect anymore, because, for most people, it is extremely important, no matter your ages. (And 40 is not that old...)

On the other hand, if your sex life is great, I would question what you mean by lack of attraction. Maybe it's time to reframe what that means to you, and figure out what you can do to make her feel desired.

So, what exactly do you mean by lack of attraction? And what about her is not doing it for you?
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Old 12th January 2018, 3:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lazlo View Post
I have married a few months ago a woman that I love but to whom I feel now not very much physical attraction. I know I probably shouldn’t have married her but I’m almost 40 (and so is she), I’ve been alone for all of my life before meeting her (she’s my first serious relationship), and I thought that having someone in my life was a good thing. And in fact it is, because since I’m with her my life has dramatically improved. These last four years with her have been the happiest of my life. I feel so lucky and blessed to have met her. Nonetheless, unfortunately I can’t find her very physically attractive. It hurts me saying so, because she’s a beautiful person, I love her, and I think that everything else is fine and we get along quite well. There are more important things that external beauty, especially at our age. We aren’t young anymore, and looks will very soon fade away in any case.
The problem is that she is constantly worried that I don’t like her, and she keeps me asking if I find her attractive. We sometimes have arguments triggered by my apparent lack of appreciation for her looks, and I don’t want this to happen, so I try to be as much appreciative as I can, but I know I’m at least partially lying. She often complains that she doesn’t feel desired by me, and this us hurting her and our relationship as well.
I cannot be honest with her, but I think our relationship should focus on something else. We are two affine souls, at least it’s what I can say from my very little experience in terms of relationships. We shouldn’t be focusing too much on the external attraction, but she seems to care so much about that.
It’s a difficult situation and I don’t know how to work things out.
You married a woman for compatibility that you have no desire to f**k.

This is on you, lazlo. You convinced this woman that you love her for life without telling her first that sex was off the table. Bad move.

What will you do now that your wife believes you are attracted to her, yet you are not? Both almost forty = in good health, at least some decades of at least moderate sexual activity.

You have dug a ditch, op, that's for sure. What can you do? Communicate as a married couple, be honest. That's going to be difficult. Tell her the truth that you are more attracted to her personality than her physical appearance.

Question lazlo...if you don't want sex from your wife, where were you thinking about having it?

Annulment is possible.
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Old 12th January 2018, 9:04 PM   #7
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Physical attraction is vital for a relationship to succeed.
I don't care if anyone thinks that I'm shallow because it's the truth.
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Old 12th January 2018, 11:03 PM   #8
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It seems quite clear that she is very aware that you are not attracted to her and that is why she is desperately seeking reassurance.

For a woman not to feel beautiful, desired, and appreciated by her man is a very lonely and sad place to be.
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Old 12th January 2018, 11:23 PM   #9
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Welcome to LS....

It appears lack of relationship experience reared its head in reconciling a really 'beautiful' person (who she is as a human being) with a sexually attractive person (flips the old gonad switch in you). The experience part comes in recognizing the difference and making different choices in whom you pursue romantically. If your sexual attraction flowed from her being a beautiful person, no problem and no discussion and happy marriage. It apparently doesn't. That's how it is for some guys and, by your age, who you are is pretty well established. You're not going to change.

Since you're married and have apparently known each other four years though only being married a short time, I'd give MC (marriage counseling) a try to assess whether you've got the stuff to integrate your love for her as a person into that buzz in the balls sexual desire. If not, call it a good try, get it annulled and move on. Definitely don't *let* her love you and desire you where there is no authentic and healthy reciprocation. That's just cruel to her.

Good luck!
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Old 12th January 2018, 11:46 PM   #10
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OK, so she is aware that you don't feel attraction towards her. Which part of the relationship is lacking? Is it sex? Verbal affection? Hugs and kisses?
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Old 13th January 2018, 8:32 AM   #11
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Thanks for the answers.

I think our sex life is pretty good. No complaints on that side, we both enjoy it, at least a couple of times a week. I might not be the greatest lover, certainly I am not, but I think she is satisfied with it, and so am I. Sex is not an issue, at least so far.
What she misses is the verbal appreciation for her looks, and all those small gestures that people do they are attracted by someone. She feels that, sex apart, I am a bit cold, not so affectionate with her in everydayís life.
Iíve been trying to understand the reason why I canít find her very attractive, and itís not easy, but I think is mostly related to her face which isnít harmonious from an aesthetically point of view. Itís difficult to explain, If I could show you a picture of her you would probably understand better. Basically, I canít look at her and thinking that sheís ďprettyĒ or ďbeautifulĒ, and this probably this unconsciously leads me to be a bit cold. As I said, this so far isnít affecting our sex life, since when we go into intimacy, these lack of beauty itís not so important.

I probably have ďsettledĒ. Well, this is a long story and it should require a very long post or better many therapy sessions. To summarise very roughly, Iíve been alone until the age of 34, which is long a time if you think about it. All the ďprettyĒ girls to whom I have been attracted in my life (that have been very few because of my lack of any social skills making meeting new girls very hard for me), never even considered me. I just had a kind of relationship once with a girl but only lasted for a few months due to lack of interest by both parts. When I met this woman who was very interested in me, I thought that she wasnít particularly pretty but she was interesting in many ways, an I thought to give it a try. Then I got someway addicted by her presence in my life, who I enjoyed very much, and I couldnít let her go. And so after four years here am I, married to her. And as Iíve already said, these years have been the happiest of my life.
Of course my subconscious still longs for those pretty girls that I had desired in my youth and could never had. I see them every day, on the train, in the streets. My wife is not one of them and this is probably the reason why Iím a bit cold with her. I would like to change things and I am trying but itís not easy.
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Old 13th January 2018, 8:36 AM   #12
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As I said, this so far isnít affecting our sex life, since when we go into intimacy, these lack of beauty itís not so important.
It's probably going to eventually be a problem . For her . When a woman doesn't feel beautiful, her libido takes a big hit.

This is a sad situation for both of you.
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Old 13th January 2018, 9:01 AM   #13
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When I met this woman who was very interested in me, I thought that she wasnít particularly pretty but she was interesting in many ways, an I thought to give it a try. Then I got someway addicted by her presence in my life, who I enjoyed very much, and I couldnít let her go.
Sounds like the two of you would make great friends, unfortunately different roles than spouses. And while I've seen marriages work on less, the attraction you're missing is often the glue that holds you together when times get tough.

It's a little bit like the instinctive love you feel for your kids. Absent that, who in their right mind would put up with teenagers ???

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Old 13th January 2018, 9:25 AM   #14
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Sounds like the two of you would make great friends, unfortunately different roles than spouses. And while I've seen marriages work on less, the attraction you're missing is often the glue that holds you together when times get tough.

It's a little bit like the instinctive love you feel for your kids. Absent that, who in their right mind would put up with teenagers ???

Mr. Lucky
Haha! I'm finding the teenage years quite delightful. It was my son's toddlerhood that almost did me in! Thank God he was so cute.
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Old 13th January 2018, 9:38 AM   #15
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Lazlo...tough s***. That is a real weak reason to stop loving your wife and wanting to abandon your marriage. What if something serious happened like she got burned, or mouth cancer, or whatever.....remember the in sickness and health part?
You swore an oath in front of God, friends, and family. Honor it.
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